28 thoughts on “Lexical Blues

    • Some years ago, in a volunteer capacity, I regularly walked with a lady who had dementia and when we passed the tennis club on our route, she would always point at the players and talk about them playing golf – it must be a terribly surreal world to inhabit, John.

    • Thanks, Monica – modern medicine helps to prolong our lives but this, in turn, can provide us with these sorts of challenges – it must be so disorientating, and heartbreaking for the family and friends of the sufferers

  1. My great aunt has dementia and it is quite sobering at times to see her struggling with thought and memory and where all the words fit. I don’t know if she is truly aware how jumbled everything appears because she doesn’t seem to be that distressed and the doctors always say her spirits are good. The hardest thing is when she doesn’t recognise people or calls them the name of someone who died 50 years ago. It’s hard to know what to say or do at that moment. Inexplicable is a very good way of describing it.

    • As you have sadly experienced with your aunt, the disease is so hard on the families and friends, Selma, particularly when the sufferer no longer recognises you – as you say, it is difficult to know how to handle the situation. The lady who I used to visit on a volunteer basis appeared to understand on some level that she should know who I was, even though I could tell she didn’t have a clue from one week to another, and so she would pretend to know me, which was quite bizarre (her impeccable manners prevailed through all that terrible fog, as did her ability to play her piano from memory) Thx

  2. I work with dementia patients, and also watched my own father’s sad decline. It’s a heartbreaking disease, but all of us at the real Gimcrack experience moments of joy throughout our working day. Believe me, it’s not all bad. If I ever succumb to Alzheimers I hope my sons find a place for me like G.H. where the staff really care. We have lots of fun with our patients, most of us have worked in the aged care industry for many years and are used to dealing with challenging behaviours and interpreting ‘word salads’

    You know how psychologists and philosophers are always advising us to live in the moment? If you have Alzheimers, that’s all you can do.

    • The staff definitely make a huge difference – their guts, dedication, sense of humour, patience and empathy. Unfortunately, the horror stories get much airtime, but rarely does the other side, so it’s good to get your positive firsthand insight, Nursemyra. Thx

    • I agree, Kate – in the developed world we are living longer but it seems that many of us who do so will likely have to deal with this disease as a consequence 😦

  3. Pingback: Losing Words . . . One By One « Spirit Lights The Way

  4. Even when one doesn’t have Alzheimers or Dementia, as one ages one’s memory fails and often words become hard to find – ie one knows they are there, but the pathway is hidden. We need to exercise our minds constantly, but whether it only staves off the inevitable or not I don’t know…

    • I agree, Adee. Even the most active of mind and body seem to be susceptible. We can only do what we can to try to stave it off and hope for the best.

  5. Great short poem about mental illness in generally it seems. Sometimes these short works perfectly express what longer poems can even fail to do. Well said.

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